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Going to church is hard with young kids. It used to be something I looked forward to. It’s something I’ve always valued deeply and needed desperately. It’s the one place that will always be home regardless of what location or building it’s in or what people attend. Church is my sanctuary.

But it’s become a battle with the kids’ resistance, my tired mind and body, and my lack of ability to actually listen to the sermon. Going to church is hard with young kids. It’s become normal for me to lie down in bed on Saturday night thinking, with dread, about the effort I have to look forward to the next morning just to get myself and my two children to church.

Before I can even think about loading us all into the car, I have to brush three sets of teeth, do the hair on three sets of heads, get three bodies clothed, give my baby medicine, and get her feeds mixed and ready to go, get breakfast for my 5-year-old and hopefully myself, argue with my 5-year-old about going to church three times and get my baby down for a nap.

And then, I get us all strapped in and argue some more with my whining 5-year-old about having to ride in the car for an unbearable 15 minutes to go to church while the baby intermittently cries because her tummy hurts, and she doesn’t want to be restrained in her car seat.

When we get to church, I lug my baby, my purse, and a diaper bag up two flights of stairs with my 5-year-old in tow only to realize the elementary check-in kiosk is not functioning. Back down two flights of stairs we all go to get my 5-year-old checked in at the preschool kiosk instead. Then we turn around and trudge back up those two flights of stairs to drop her off at her class only to discover that her class has already gone up to worship on the third floor. So up another flight of stairs we go.

After dropping off my 5-year-old, I take my baby and my baggage back down one flight of stairs to the nursing room and turn on the TV to watch the sermon. My baby (who has recently become very active) immediately begins playing with all the things she should not, including a tipsy table, a wobbly privacy screen, and an unstable giant mirror hanging on the wall. Realizing this is not going to yield any spiritual fruit in my life, especially since my baby grabbed hold of the remote and turned off the sermon, I pick up my baby and belongings and once again trudge down two flights of stairs to reconsider putting my 11-month-old cardiac baby in the nursery.

I peek inside the room in which I presume she would belong and am greeted by one of the nursery workers. As I ask some questions, another nursery worker gently takes my baby to see if she’s interested in playing in the room while I continue talking. Seeing her play happily as I watch from a few feet outside the room, I begin to feel some hope that perhaps I will finally be able to actually listen to Sunday sermons again.

But 10 minutes later, as I’m putting my baby’s information into the check-in kiosk to make it an easy drop-off next week, I hear a screaming voice that sounds like my baby’s. When I get back to the nursery, I find that my previously happily-playing baby is now hysterically crying at the realization that I left her.

Although I know we can work past this, her medical history makes me nervous to let her get this worked up. I can’t help but worry about whether it is in the best interest of her heart to do this to her each week, even if it only lasts a few weeks.

As I reminisce about it later in the afternoon, I fear I cannot risk putting her heart through the severe distress she was in during her short stay in the nursery. And my own heart drops as I wonder how I will manage to continue taking my 5-year-old to church when it is becoming impossible to contain my baby in the common areas.

Going to church is hard with young kids. I thought it was hard when I just had one, and she had extreme stranger anxiety. Every nursery drop-off was traumatic and short-lived as I was called back to get her 10 minutes into the sermon, week after week.

But going to church is so much harder now with two. One never wants to go and the other one is hard to keep content. And I rarely get to hear the sermon. It is downright exhausting going to church with young kids.

But I’ll keep going. Because even though going to church is hard with young kids, I believe it is so worth it to teach those young kids how much it means to me. I hope that, with time, they will realize why this is so much more than a ritual. And I pray that someday it will mean as much to them as it does to me.

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Marissa Khosh

I am a stay-at-home mom blogger passionate about sharing my motherhood experiences and research with other mamas. God provides me with all the material I need to write articles about the uncommon mama topics no one talks about, like molar pregnancy, childhood tooth decay, and PMS symptoms while breastfeeding. Through my experiences with miscarriage and my two daughters, I am continually learning new lessons and making new discoveries that I know I need to share with other mamas who need to know they are not alone. 

To the Mom of the Rowdy Kids in Church

In: Kids, Motherhood
To the Mom of the Rowdy Kids in Church www.herviewfromhome.com

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